The best piece of advice ever given to a gardener, homeowner or anyone thinking to start a small garden may have been to use indigenous species when planting your little piece of the pie. Not only does using indigenous species in your area promote water and energy conservation, it forces you to be creative in finding plants that are both aesthetically and functionally pleasing. The indigenous plants in Arizona are species not often contemplated when setting up a garden. But after a tour through the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, your thoughts on desert plants may change.
A rare bloom itself
This 145-acre reserve has 65 acres of land under cultivation, over 50,000 plant displays and 640,529 attendees each year. It is one of only 44 botanical gardens that are accredited by the American Association of Museums.
The giant succulents and cacti are beautiful against the Sonoran Desert. Gardens and trails that display these desert plants also provide plaques that explain unique characteristics of each plant. Key exhibits include the Sybil B. Harrington Cactus and Succulent Galleries, the Berlin Agave Yucca Forest, seasonal butterfly exhibits and the Desert Discovery Loop Trail.
Look into attending one of the Avant-Garden events, a series of gatherings that include wine, food and the arts. Every Thursday through the spring and summer, different musicians, artists and designers come together to create an evening with shopping, sipping and savoring. Entertainment ranges from cooking demonstrations to DJs. Look on the Desert Botanical Garden website to find the full schedule of events, all of which are sure to please.
The Music in the Garden: Concert Series brings about similar entertainment. Various musicians and bands perform on Fridays through the season. Dine on a gourmet meal and have a glass of wine under the stars as the music lulls you into the calm desert night. Children are not allowed to attend these Friday night festivities, even if accompanied by an adult; so keep this in mind if you are planning a family vacation to Arizona.